Regulators published $6.1 billion in regulatory costs this week, or $19 for every person in the U.S. Annualized costs were $406 million, compared to $225 million in benefits. There were 105,000 new paperwork burden hours. A proposed safety standards regulation for railway tank cars led the week.
Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) temporarily withdrew its rule on “wage garnishment” due to “adverse comments.” The EPA took an almost unprecedented action on the regulation by releasing it as a final rule, instead of going through the normal rulemaking process.
In a relatively modest week, regulators published $158 million in annualized costs and more than 235,000 associated paperwork burden hours; no regulation monetized possible benefits. However, the week did include notable court proceedings on the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank’s fourth anniversary.
After reviewing the administration’s most recent agenda of federal rulemakings, it appears there are at least 15 major regulations scheduled for release after the upcoming midterms. Combined, just six of these rules could impose more than $34 billion in costs.
The “net neutrality” debate rages on. Unfortunately, it has from the beginning been a triumph of good intentions over sound thinking. Certainly, one would not want a legal framework that allowed companies to discriminate at the expense of consumers. Mind you, that does not mean that companies will not in the end discriminate.
Regulators published $144 million in annualized costs this week with more than 2.4 million associated paperwork burden hours; no regulation monetized possible benefits. An expensive Medicare and Medicaid proposal led the week.
New pushes in the network neutrality debate are threatening to place much of the Internet sector under a new burdensome regulatory regime that could hinder growth and insert regulatory uncertainty into countless companies, including small startups. The regime, known as Title II reclassification, would place broadband under telephone regulation in order to ban certain network practices. But the ensuing legal morass is not likely to achieve the intended goals. Meanwhile, the broader Internet sector could come under these proposed rules. Of all the proposals suggested, reclassification poses high costs with the little, if any, rewards.
The Dodd-Frank Act limps into its fifth year of implementation, saddled by an unconstitutional recess appointment, several setbacks in federal courts, and an expensive regulatory portfolio. The Act imposed 398 new regulations that have thus far added more than $21.8 billion in costs and 60.7 million paperwork burden hours. These measures have transformed the financial industry, overhauled mortgage lending, and directly affected the availability of credit. With roughly one-quarter of the law still left to implement, it’s safe to say that the true economic impacts won’t be understood for years.
After a record-setting week, regulators added $142 million in regulatory burdens, or 45 cents per person. Annualized costs were $87 million and there were no rulemakings with monetized benefits. A Medicare payment proposal added 2.4 million hours of paperwork, leading the week.
On the day before the nation celebrated its independence, the administration handed the country a regulatory bill worth more than $104 billion for just one half of 2014. At the current pace, regulatory costs will eclipse $200 billion, well above even AAF’s projection of $143 billion.